The Steak Tartare Shortcut You Should Never Risk Taking

What are your thoughts on raw meat? Specifically, do you enjoy eating raw meat? It seems like a lot of people like to indulge in dishes made with raw meat. How come? Time reports that medical professionals generally don't advise eating raw meat because the bacteria and parasites in animal meat are "more dangerous than the ones you'd find in raw fish." And Dr. Eugene Muller, a microbiologist, says that one other important thing regarding the safety of eating raw animal meat is how the animals have been "slaughtered and packaged." 

However, HearthStone reveals many reasons why people do not heed these warnings and still love to enjoy a raw meat dish. For example, it's easier to digest raw than cooked meat, and some enzymes get irrevocably lost when the meat is cooked. On the other hand, when eating raw meat, all of the nutrients stay inside the meat. Besides, most of the time, it's pretty safe to raw meat – it just needs to be extremely fresh and prepared by a knowledgeable chef or cook. 

And maybe you've already tried some of the most popular raw meat dishes, such as the classic Italian carpaccio, typically consisting of thin slices of raw beef (via La Cucina Italiana). Or it might be that you love a Pittsburgh rare, which is a blue steak: quickly grilled, while the center is left completely raw (per Barbecue Bible). But if you're into the famous steak tartare, there's one shortcut you should never risk-taking.

Don't buy ground beef for steak tartare, mince the meat by hand instead

Among many raw meat dishes worldwide, steak tartare is undoubtedly the most popular one. But popularity is always relative. For example, Statista reports that in 2016, only five percent of adult Americans said that they had eaten raw beef in the past 12 months. So we'll assume that it was either carpaccio or steak tartare. And if you'd like to make your own steak tartare, first you should know some things about its history. 

MasterClass reveals that the dish is a variation on the French steak à l'Americaine, and since it was often served with tartar sauce, the name stuck. Steak tartare typically consists of minced raw beef, capers, onions, cornichons, Worcestershire sauce, and a raw egg yolk that's usually placed on top of the meat for a nice contrast. The egg is also often incorporated into the meat in order to create a texture that's silky, and besides, the egg helps to hold all of the ingredients together (via A Spicy Perspective). 

The beef is traditionally finely chopped and scraped by hand with a knife, and if you really must, you can put the meat in a grinder or a food processor. Just don't take the shortcut of buying ground beef because you might get sick. Raw ground beef has an enormous surface area that's exposed to harmful bacteria and oxygen, so stick to your own hands and hone your knife skills for the best results.